Home >> Arkansas >> Springdale >> Interior Design Courses


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Springdale AR

How to Find the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Springdale AR, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Springdale AR

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Springdale AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Springdale Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Springdale AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Springdale Arkansas interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Springdale AR residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Springdale Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Springdale AR program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Springdale AR business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Springdale AR colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Springdale AR schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Springdale home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Springdale AR, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Springdale Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Springdale ArkansasPicking the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Springdale Arkansas.